ARJAN SIṄGH GAṚGAJJ (1905-1963), revolutionary and journalist, was born the son of Sundar Siṅgh Rāmgaṛhīā, an artisan of Tarn Tāran, in Amritsar district of the Punjab, in 1905. In 1919, when he was studying in class VI, young Arjan Siṅgh was expelled from school for refusing to salute the Union Jack, imperial standard of the British rulers. Undaunted, he plunged into the Akālī agitation launched in 1920. He left home soon after and took up residence in the office of the Gaṛgajj (lit. thunderous) Akālī Dīwān established by Jathedār Tejā Siṅgh Bhuchchar. This earned him the epithet "Gaṛgajj". Arjan Siṅgh was arrested in April 1922 on a charge of publicly reciting a seditious poem and sent to jail for six months - the youngest Akālī prisoner. Again in 1923, after the Shiromaṇī Akālī Dal as well as the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee had been outlawed in the wake of the Nābhā agitation, Arjan Siṅgh was taken into custody and awarded one-year imprisonment, but was not released until September 1926, when orders banning the Akālī Dal were withdrawn. From the Akālī Dal, he went across to Naujawān Bhārat Sabhā, an organization of young socialist revolutionaries. He became a member of the editorial staff of the Kirtī, a professedly leftist magazine founded in February 1926 by Santokh Siṅgh, a Ghadr revolutionary. He was imprisoned for his anti-government writings in 1929 and, again, in 1930. Speech-making was banned for him in 1931, and in 1932 he was interned in the town of Tarn Tāran. After briefly serving as sub-editor of the Babar Sher and chief editor of the Cartoon, he joined the Akālī as a sub-editor in 1935. He suffered imprisonment for his political convictions even after Independence and worked on newspapers such as Jaṅg-i-Āzādī and Nawāṅ Zamānā. His three published works, all in Punjabi, are Do Pair Ghaṭṭ Turnā, Shahīd de Bol and Merā Āpṇa Āp.

        Arjan Siṅgh Gaṛgajj died on 10 March 1963.


  1. Pratāp Siṅgh, Giānī, Gurdwārā Saudhār arthāt Akālī Lahir. Amritsar, 1975
  2. Josh, Sohan Siṅgh, Akālī Morchiāṅ da Itihās. Delhi, 1972

Jagjīt Siṅgh Anand